Episode 066 – Do you feel lonely

Episode 066 - Do you feel lonely

Welcome to episode 066 of the podcast! It’s great to see you.

Today I’m talking about loneliness, and sharing my five fave things to help.  

Well, there’s really six, but I know you’re not all as crazy cat/dog lady as I am.

For some of us, we can blame lockdown.  But for others, lockdown only enhanced what we were already feeling and possibly didn’t want to admit to, or know that it’s even a thing we could admit.

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Transcript of episode

Hello! I’m your host, Lorraine Stone, and on today’s episode I’m talking about loneliness, and sharing my five fave things to help. 

Well, there’s really six, but I know you’re not all crazy cat/dog lady as I am.

For some of us, we can blame lockdown. But for others, lockdown only enhanced what we were already feeling and possibly didn’t want to admit to, or know that it’s even a thing we could admit.

Anything can trigger it. 

The evening you’d give anything for being able to eat a plate of food you didn’t have to cook yourself. Or perhaps you’re surrounded by people all the time and don’t really feel much connection to them, or you’re going through something you haven’t shared, that has that pang rearing its ugly head.

When we have a chronic health condition, be it stress, anxiety, or anything else, we can often feel lonely and no longer feel we belong because we feel different now. If the people around us have never experienced it for themselves, trying to get them to understand is so difficult.

Whatever it looks like to you, I suspect you’ve felt it. I have. 

This episode is here to say you are not alone. In the winter of 2020 4.2 million people in the UK described themselves as always or often lonely. A shockingly high number of these were women in their 30s and 40s.

Loneliness is a serious risk factor for poor health, causing conditions like depression, lowering immunity, and can drastically decrease our confidence and self-worth, so it’s even more important for us to be able to do something about it and prevent making our existing conditions worse.

I was stuck at home on my own for weeks on end when my illness was really bad, and again after my operation earlier this year. I’m an introvert and usually love being in my own company, but there’s a difference when you’re able to leave the house when you want to, and how being in your own company feels when you are literally stuck home alone.

If using social media makes you feel more disconnected, 

how about listening to a podcast, read something you can get lost in, take an online class, call a family member or close friend. If you’re able, go for a walk. As soon as I was able post-op, I would take a walk to my local shops and cuddle almost every pup I passed. 9 out of 10 dog owners are friendly and will usually pause for a moment for a chat. There’s a couple of elderly ladies that I’d see most days. One day one of them thanked me one day for pausing to chat with her. She told me that other than the workers in Tesco, I’m often the only person she chats to. Sometimes the little things that we do that seem so insignificant to us have such an impact on someone else’s day.

If you’re not able to get out of the house, or not the type to hug dogs like I do, there’s one aspect of social contact that you can tap into and that’s touch.

My fave five are:

such as body brushing to help to make your skin feel more alive. Or a hand cream you absolutely love. There’s a lot to be said about scent for making us feel better and more confident. I created a quiz for you to find your power scent, there’s a link in the shownotes.

Second, make a hot drink. 

An interesting study found that someone holding a hot mug of coffee rated other people as more generous and caring than those who were holding an iced coffee. So it doesn’t really matter which hot drink you choose, even if it’s just hot water with lemon, having that warmth in your hands can make such a difference.

Continuing the warm theme, 

try a weighted blanket or a hot water bottle. I use my hot water bottle even in summer because my system can’t regulate its temperature when I’m in a flare, and it’s in a big cuddly Stitch cover, so I get to cuddle something too.

My fourth, dress in soft clothes. 

Our skin, especially when we’re not feeling great, is super-sensitive to textures. This is why many find jeans uncomfortable and as for super-itchy wooly jumpers… Whereas if you’re wearing something that feels nice, it’s much easier to relax.

Lastly, self-massage. 

Be it one of those massage guns people are raving about lately, a scalp massager, even a foam roller even though many associate them with some form of torture, can all mirror the pressure of having a real massage. You could give yourself a foot massage. I know it’s not quite the same as having somebody else do it, but it’s about triggering that touch response that our body craves when we’re feeling alone and lonely.

So that’s my five.

If you have any others, please do share them with me 

and if you enjoyed this episode, if something resonated with you, I’d love if you would pop over to where you listen to podcasts and leave a review.

To find out more you could email me and you can also find me on Instagram. I’ve put a link to both in the shownotes. I would love to be a part of your journey.

Thanks for listening, and remember – you are worth it, and you get to choose.

Have a lovely day.